FOCUS ON THE UNREACHED
Our Converge mission is prioritizing Unreached People Groups (UPGs). These people groups (ethne) are under 2% evangelicals and less than 5% professing Christians. About 95% of the 6,642 UPGs are located in what is called the 10/40 window. You (and your church) may find this short video a good summary of UPGs.
FOCUS ON ASIA
And Asia is spiritually needy with most of the people groups that have yet to have a viable Church that follows Jesus. The purpose of the Asia Impact Team which I am a member is: “The Asia Impact Team equips local leaders to catch and fulfill a vision for a gospel movement among least reached people groups.” So my team’s ministry target is the unreached people groups still remaining. We pray that leaders will have a vision not just for their people group but others in their region and beyond.
Our Asia Impact Team is currently investigating 20 countries in Asia where we have contacts that can help us connect with leaders working with Unreached People Groups (UPGs). We will be developing projects to target these needy groups that are without a viable church.
UPGs are not new to us. As we have been sharing with you over the years, the Japanese are the second largest unreached people group on the planet. I just completed a project outlining the challenges of reaching the Japanese as the world’s second largest Unreached People Group (UPG). I received much feedback from colleagues with the project. The reason the Japanese remain unreached is the lack of 1) prayer, 2) abundant evangelism, 3) relevant ministry to the Japanese, and 4) multiplying churches. Several surprising lessons came from working on that project.
- Today the Japanese diaspora lives in 44 countries with most living in Brazil, Peru, and Canada, but the third most populous country is the US with 835,000 Japanese. Many live in Chicagoland.
- Outside Mandarin Speaking Chinese, the Japanese are the largest unreached Buddhist group.
FOCUS ON CHANGING ROLES
I read in my Perspectives class “When missionaries stop learning, they die.” So last month I have also completed a learning cohort on working remotely to start and sustain movements from outside a country. How can we work with leaders in countries where typical missionaries cannot live, or some passports are not permitted to visit?
“Do not assume mission service is necessarily a lifelong commitment for you in the same place.” God has directed us to relocate us to the US as I needed to get out of the way. But also God has continued to have us focus on developing many leaders in Japan, and throughout Asia with vision for multiplying churches. During this cohort, I learned about new roles for ministry, how to coach people at a distance, fruitful practices & tools, how to execute overseas visits, and I directly interacted with several working outside countries catalyzing movements in Africa and Asia. This week I received an invitation to attend the Lausanne Asia conference in October where I can meet with 750 of top leaders in Asia. This is a real honor and opportunity.